The Congress has questioned Lt.Gen. Bipin Rawat's appointment as the new Army Chief.
"Why has seniority not been respected in appointment of Army Chief? Why have Lt. Gen. Pravin Bakshi and Lt Gen Mohamed Ali Hariz been superseded, Mr PM (Narendra Modi)?" Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari posted on his Twitter account on Saturday.
"Why has third senior most officer Lt Gen Bipin Rawat with due respects to his professionalism superseded other two in a herarichal force?" he asked.
Tewari further corrected himself saying: "Correction... Gen Rawat is not third but fourth senior most. Even Lt Gen BS Negi Army commander Central Command is senior to him? Why Mr PM?"
"And I only hope and pray it is untrue that this supersession in the Army is not a precursor to suppressions in other institutions Like SC?" Tewari asked.
Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat would be the new Army Chief and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa the new chief of Indian Air Force, the Defence Ministry announced on Saturday.
Lt Gen. Rawat and Air Marshal Dhanoa, presently the Vice Chiefs of their respective services, will take over on December 31, when incumbents Gen. Dalbir Singh and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha demit office on retirement from service.
"We would like to ask the Prime Minister what was the compelling reason why this supercession has taken place. Why the principle of seniority, which has held now for almost two decades, not respected," Tewari told a press conference here.
"Is it that these officers who have been superseded were unqualified in any manner or is it whimsical cherry picking which has been done by the BJP-led government?
"Not only is this supercession unprecedented, probably this has happened for the first time that three senior Generals (Commanding different armies) have been superseded," he added.
The government on Saturday appointed Lt. Gen. Rawat as the new Army Chief and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa as the new chief of the Indian Air Force.
The appointment of Lt. Gen. Rawat has ignored the seniority of Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz who have spent longer years in service.
"It is not the first time this government has done this. The appointment or the non-appointment of a full-time Enforcement Director, the ad-hoc appointment in the CBI, which has been questioned by the Supreme Court, is an extremely serious matter which shows this government has scant regard for institutional integrity.
"Why is there a delay in the notification for the next Chief Justice of India?"
Chief Justice T.S. Thakur is retiring on January 3. The government is yet to announce the next Chief Justice.